Filipino Deaf Video Blogger explains why FSL not PSL

Last year, Philippine President Duterte signed into law the Filipino Sign Language (FSL) Act. The Republic Act 11106 recognizes FSL as the true and living language used by the Filipino Deaf community. However, some people contested the name.

The issue: why use FILIPINO Sign Language, not PHILIPPINE Sign Language?

Glottolog, a comprehensive reference information for the world’s languages, especially the lesser known languages, listed the language used by the Filipino Deaf as Philippine Sign Language.

Screenshot of Glottolog

Also, SIL International, (formerly Summer Institute of Linguistics) lists the language as Philippine Sign Language. They even made an identifier code of ISO 639-3. These recognitions further strengthen the legitimacy of PSL as the right name.

Screenshot of SIL Code for Philippine Sign Language

In 2006, I became one of the editors of Wikipedia, the world’s largest free online encyclopedia. Using Jomanila as my editor name, I was able to create a few notable articles. One of which is “Filipino Sign Language” which I posted in February 15, 2008.

Screenshot of Wikipedia Article History

However in 2012, a certain tyrant and “feeling god” editor/dictator named Kwamikagami vandalized the article name by changing it into PHILIPPINE SIGN LANGUAGE. I humbly asked why the sudden change and explained my side. But he still defended his action simply because he is a “demigod” and he does not care for others’ truth. Because I cannot challenge his abusive “powers”, I just let him be. You may view our heated exchanges here.

Both Glottolog and SIL were used as bases for the Wikipedia article change from FSL to PSL. These supporting sites further strengthen the Wikipedia tyrant’s decision to change the name of the article. So the name got stuck for nearly five years. Minor edits and information were added but the name PSL stayed, until the law was passed. I added the information about the FSL Law in November 2018. Thankfully last December, a Filipino Wikipedia Editor named HaribonEagle927 moved the page to Filipino Sign Language after pointing it out in my talk.

Still, many senior Filipino deaf insist that PSL is the right term because this is what they were accustomed to. Some even invented the name PINOY Sign Language as a better term and created their own Facebook group in 2014 to support this. The group currently has 240 members.

That is why Aldrin Gabriel, a well-respected deaf video blogger and one of the founders/administrators of Filipino Deaf Vloggers: Feed, Awareness and Openness Facebook Group (FDVFAOG) decided to post his explanation about the issue. Aldrin, an alumnus of MCCID, happens to be one of my very best deaf students. He is a very creative artist, a local champion and Philippine representative in the International Skills Competition held in Japan in 2007 and the only Filipino Deaf actor who interpreted the “Mi Ultimo Adios” poem of National Hero Dr. Jose Rizal in Filipino Sign Language.
Ultimo _ smaller file

FDVDAO Group is a closed invite-only Facebook group which now has nearly 4,000 members, majority of whom are deaf and hard-of-hearing. You can only post video blogs in sign language. Personal opinions and views of all the members is highly respected so bashing is not allowed. I was honored to be invited in this group.

You may view his ten-minute video in Filipino Sign Language by clicking on the YouTube link below. Aldrin’s explanation is very simple and straightforward. He even used a paper diagram to illustrate his point clearly. I added the English caption/subtitle for the benefit of those who are unfamiliar with the language. I am sure you will now be convinced that FSL is the correct name after viewing his video.

Cheers to Filipino Sign Language and the Filipino Deaf Community!!!

Note: He corrected the word AMERICA in his paper illustration to AMERICAN. Sorry for the error.

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Free photography workshop for the deaf on April 22

Free photography workshop for the deaf to be mentored by famous deaf wedding photographer and International Skills Competition Photography Champ Dennis Rhoneil Corpuz Balan!!! This will be held at Fort Santiago on Sunday, April 22 and sponsored by Federation of Philippine Photographers Foundation (FPPF). You may contact them through the poster below. Grab this now!!! 

dennis photography seminar

 

Empowered Deaf Tricycle Driver!

instructions on where to drop off in Filipino

Empowering! This photo of a tricycle driven by a deaf man in Mexico, Pampanga is currently making rounds in social media. It already has more than 10,000 likes and nearly 2,500 shares in Facebook courtesy of Philippine Star as of this writing. Passengers can point to the location where he/she wants to drop off.

“Having such condition, he still works for his family. Such an inspiring person,” says Alyoza Malig Bondoc, the woman who posted the photo on Facebook.

I just wish they also posted the name of the deaf. Nevertheless, he’s truly amazing! 🙂

Filipina Deaf Passes the National Teacher’s Exam

Good news to all our Filipino Deaf friends out there. The very elusive board examination for teachers has been conquered by a lady! Her name is Mary Catherine Dela Torre. Most of the deaf after graduating from a bachelors degree in education, will land as teacher aide without any assurance of becoming a regular teacher, unless they pass the licensure exam. Now, it can be done!

I’m not saying that she is the first board exam passer. I know of two persons who successfully made it in the past. But one unique thing about Mary Catherine is that she came from a regular college in Iloilo City (Central Philippine University) without the aid of an interpreter although she comfortably communicates in sign language. Also, she broke the tremendous odds by enrolling in a good review school which had helped her a lot. But the best part of it all is the all out support of her loving mother which was always there helping her through her lessons and examinations.

Mary Catherine, thank you very much for inspiring other deaf that they too can pass the test. This blogger salutes you! 🙂

* – This Abs-Cbn breaking news video is in Filipino language without an English subtitle.

Colorful Silence, Filipino Deaf Photographer

Screenshot of Colorful Silence - Manila Bulletin Article about Emil Zion Punzalan's Photography Works
Colorful Silence – Manila Bulletin Article about Emil Zion Punzalan’s Photography Works

Guys, may I interest you again with another successful Filipino deaf entrepreneur, Emil Zion Punzalan. As one of the proud products of MCCID, he has ventured into a field where communication is a non-issue and the entire world is his portrait. He was recently featured in Manila Bulletin. I reposted the article below.

Colorful Silence
By Jojie Alcantara
Published: May 7, 2013

In history, many hearing-impaired people have worked professionally as photographers for decades. Several of them have stood out with their eye for details and visual impact while living in a silent world.

Emil Zion Punzalan from Sampaloc, Manila accepted his diploma in Business Technology at the Manila Christian Computer Institute of the Deaf back in 2003.

“When I graduated college with a computer course, my grandparents were a little worried about what job I would get since I am deaf,” he explains. “They pushed me to photography, encouraged me to attend seminars. With the course I finished, plus photography which complemented it, I ended up as a photographer. I found pleasure in it and made a career out of it.”

He has no particular favorite subject or theme. “Ideas are everywhere. I love to capture still life, animals, food, landscape, aerial, people, travel, seascapes, and more. The possibilities are endless and I do a little bit of everything to keep myself shooting.”

For Zion, an effective photography is when the photographer transforms lifeless shots to amazing images.

“The photographer’s mood is important in coming out with good pictures. It sets the atmosphere of the piece, evokes happiness or sadness, creating an emotion. The moods of my shots are varied.”

He has joined several photo contests and won: gold medal in NCR Abilympics Skills Competition in 2005; bronze medal in the 12th National Skills Competition in 2005; and Pixoto hailed him as one of the Best Photographers of the Year 2012.

“My goal as a visual artist is to be able to create an image that is even better and beautiful than the actual subject I am shooting,” he says.

“Creativity is the best thing about being a photographer. How you compose a shot will tell the whole story – showing faces, expressions, movements, moods, situations, and experiences. For me, the most basic and most important factors are good lighting and exposure. I create the mood with lighting.”

He continues, “Exposure is the amount of light entering my camera. It describes how light or how dark the photographs are. Underexposure is when photos come out too dark, overexposure is when photos come out too light or washed out. However, slightly underexposed and overexposed images can be great for artistic or stylistic reasons. They may be visually appealing.”

Appealing may be more than one way to describe Zion’s images. Adjusting above auditory disabilities, he creates and composes images as though they were paintings infused with vivid hues that jump out from a canvas. In a silent but colorful world, he soars beyond his limits.

“For me, photography is beyond capturing family memories or documenting an event. It offers a chance to be creative. It is an expression using lighting, color, depth, content, and composition to make photographs into more than snapshots,” he says.

Now at 30, Zion looks forward to his coming inspiration with eager anticipation, the birth of his first born baby this June.

The original article appears Picture Perfect Special Lifestyle Section and the Mania Bulletin website.

For those who are in need of professional photography and other related services, I highly recommend his services. Go to his Official Facebook page to know more about how to get in touch with Zion. 🙂

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